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Written by Dr Yasmin Aghajan, MD
Information last reviewed 06/21/19
Premature ejaculation (PE) is defined by quick ejaculation (1-2 minutes), inability to delay or control ejaculation, and distress about the condition. There are several options for treatment. The first choice for treatment is Sertraline. Other options include numbing cream, such as Lidocaine/Prilocaine (EMLA).
Sertraline is a medication of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class. It works by increasing the amount of serotonin that neurons can use. Although it can be used for premature ejaculation, it is most commonly used to treat depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and social anxiety disorder.
Sertraline is approved in the treatment of depression, PTSD, OCD, and panic disorder. It is prescribed off-label for premature ejaculation.
For men who suffer from premature ejaculation, several studies verify that regular use of Sertraline can increase the average amount of time it takes for ejaculation to occur during sexual intercourse; however, it can take up to several weeks for the treatment to be fully effective.
Statistics reveal that men who took a daily 25mg oral dose of Sertraline, gradually increasing the dose to 100mg over a period of six weeks, on average, enhanced their ejaculatory interval by approximately 16 minutes. Correspondingly, reports of sexual satisfaction for the men, and their partners, also increased as a result of using Sertraline.
In most cases, it can take several weeks before the full effects of Sertraline are felt in delaying premature ejaculation. Using evidence from respective studies, most men experienced the most significant improvement in ejaculation latency after four weeks of treatment, although its effects can be felt in the first use.
The active ingredient in Sertraline is sertraline hydrochloride (25, 50, or 100mg).
The inactive ingredients include: dibasic calcium phosphate dihydrate, D & C Yellow #10 aluminum lake (in 25 mg tablet), FD & C Blue #1 aluminum lake (in 25 mg tablet), FD & C Red #40 aluminum lake (in 25 mg tablet), FD & C Blue #2 aluminum lake (in 50 mg tablet), hydroxypropyl cellulose, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, sodium starch glycolate, synthetic yellow iron oxide (in 100 mg tablet), and titanium dioxide. Inactive ingredients may vary by manufacturer.
If you have previously had an allergic reaction to sertraline, you should not take this medication. However, it is very rare to get an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in sertraline. Is it imperative to get immediate medical help if you notice any of these symptoms after taking the medication: rash, difficulty breathing, swelling, and dizziness.
The proper dosage for Sertraline for premature ejaculation is between 50mg and 200mg per day. It should be increased as needed every four weeks. There is no dosage adjustment for kidney disease. Do not stop taking Sertraline before talking to your doctor.
Sertraline can either be used on a regular basis, or as and when it is needed, to effectively treat premature ejaculation. Depending on the individual case and symptoms, dosage may range from 25 to 200 milligrams. There is no customary approach when treating with Sertraline; therefore, it is highly recommended that you follow your doctor’s instructions and do not take more than the prescribed amount.
There is an FDA warning for this class of medication that it can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in young adults. Sertraline may cause increased bleeding, impair cognitive function (use caution while driving or operating machinery), narrow-angle glaucoma in susceptible individuals, and serotonin syndrome, which is a potentially life -threatening condition when SSRIs are used in combination with other serotonin agents. Always tell your doctor what medications and supplements you are taking. SSRI medications may cause low levels of blood sodium which could be life-threatening.
The most common side effects were insomnia (20%), dizziness (12%), fatigue (12%), drowsiness (11%), nausea (26%), diarrhea (20%) and dry mouth (14%).
Less common side effects include palpitations, agitation, malaise, sweating, decreased libido, erectile dysfunction.
Sertraline is known to have interactions with the following medications:
Sertraline is contraindicated in patients taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), and in patients with an allergy to Sertraline or its other ingredients.
Sertraline was approved in 1991, and is one of the most prescribed medications in the United States.
Sertraline, or Zoloft, is manufactured by Pfizer. However, it is available as a generic medication as well.
Although Sertraline does not cause users to become physically dependent on the medication, due to it being a commonly-prescribed remedy for other issues, it can often become psychologically addictive, depending on what it is used for.
This type of addiction has been known to occur in users treating symptoms of depression, as the medication can generate a feeling of improved well-being; conversely, not having access to the drug can cause feelings of anxiety, frustration or depression, as well as physical symptoms such as nausea, hand tremors and insomnia.
Research suggests that Sertraline could damage male fertility by reducing the quality and concentration of sperm. Therefore, treatment with Sertraline for men who are trying to start a family is not recommended.
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. You and your physician will determine if and how you should take any medication prescribed to you following a medical consultation.
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